Coda EV hits the road

It’s been a long road for Coda Automotive, the electric car start up out of California trying to introduce a more affordable all-electric sedan for the driving masses.

The company now seems to have reached an important milestone in its path to what it hopes will be prosperity, driving its first production model off of the factory floor yesterday.

Coda, which we first started covering in September 2010, has seen its share of ups and downs, including some rather lengthy to market delays.

The start up now looks to put that all behind it, as its new sedan prices at around $37,250 before select federal and individual state savings and credits (which, at press time, could drop the price to around $27,250). 

Will this be a price mainstream drivers can get behind? It depends upon what they expect out of this vehicle.

The Coda Sedan has an 88 miles per charge EPA rating, which the car company thinks drivers could eek up to 125 miles if they have good EV driving habits. What may also help with this is the vehicle’s active thermal management system, which reportedly provides constant battery care to help optimize the battery pack’s performance in hot and cold weather conditions.

Autoblog Green notes the official EPA miles per gallon equivalent rating for the Coda Sedan is 73 MPGe, which is decent when compared to other electric style vehicles on the market. What will help with energy storage in this vehicle to keep good MPGe is the installed lithium-iron-phosphate (LiFePO4) battery pack, which the company is backing with a hefty warranty.

Coda notes that its 31kWh 2012 sedan has a 6.6kW onboard charging capability that provides a full charge in about six hours on 240 V (Level 2 EVSE). This will be longer for those with less charging capability, but at least you’ll have an easier option for getting better charging equipment in the home from Coda if you want it.

A chunk of the work done on the Coda sedans, including the installation of the vehicle’s central powertrain unit and other electrical components, is handled at a facility located approximately 30 miles from San Francisco. Other parts are being done, of course, in China.

Initial sedans being sold in California are ultimately going to current reservation holders. The auto maker also plans to sell its vehicles through dealerships in that state, including Coda of Silicon Valley, run by Del Grande Dealer Group (DGDG) in Northern California, Marvin K. Brown Auto Center in San Diego and various locations in the Los Angeles region that will be announced soon.

The sedan holds five passengers and is considered mid-size in scope. It is described has having  full rear seating and trunk space that Coda believes meets American drivers’ daily transportation needs.

Nino Marchetti, EarthTechling